I'll admit it, I'm biased. The Charlatans are my favorite band. Still, since being released in the UK in 2003, Tim Burgess' first (and only) solo CD continues to brighten my world.
Tim keeps it poppy and simple, squeezing 11 songs into 46 minutes (excluding the US bonus tracks). As always, the songs are filled with Tim's warm and fuzzy voice. This album sees Tim venture into an almost country/southern US rock sound on some tracks. Because of this, I've been shocked that the CD didn't get a proper US release until now. Of course, I loved it enough to buy the import...on CD...and vinyl...and the singles....And, I will be buying the domestic release just to have it in that format.
With this proper US release, hopefully some of the gems of this album will hit. "I Believe In The Spirit" is pure pop bliss. From the horns to the jangling guitar to Tim's smooth falsetto every piece of this song hits the right note. "Only A Boy" is the second song deserving of mass audiences. It dives right into a poppy-funky riff and takes you straight into the sun. "We All Need Love" slows the album down a bit, providing a surefire anthem for Tim. "Oh My Corazon" begins with a catchy little keyboard/guitar loop before exploding into the chorus. "Years Ago" is 2 minutes of the cutest music I've heard in years. "Love To Spend The Night" is another slow song, play it loud and melt away with it. Tim ends the original album with "All I Ever Do." He's always great with break-up songs and this rocks with the best of them.
Judging by this first solo album, I hope Tim finds time in the coming years to occasionally grow on his own, away from the safety of The Charlatans. "I Believe" is a very strong first step. Hopefully the first of many.